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Fiji Is A Violent Society, Says Paper

Issue No: 622 23 March 2001

Fiji is a violent society, says the Fiji Sun.

In an editorial published this week, the paper took an incisive look at the spread of violent culture in the nation. The editorial has been hailed by the members of the public as a timely warning to Fiji to relook at itself.

The paper stated:

"We are a violent society. We killed one another in our search for power last year."

"We kill each other daily, if not in action, in thought, by the number of conflicts - physical, political and legal - that we see, hear or read about daily."

"It shows in the volume of dissension and divisions rife in the country."

"A dissension is a disagreement of opinion, especially one, which leads to contention or strife."

"Fijian hard-liners who are able to access the ears of chiefs have been influential in causing the biggest dissension."

"That is in their trying to lend "legitimacy" to some of the illegitimate actions of Government."

"Right now we see it in the way the President has made his ruling regarding the governance of this country after the Court of Appeal ruling."

"It seems he's been able to flout the supreme law of the country, the 1997 Constitution, and make his own ruling by unconstitutionally sacking the legitimate prime minister and appointing a caretaker government from the same people who made up the illegal interim administration."

"Everything is so confusing. We say we want the rule of law and we say we want to keep the 1997 Constitution, but almost every action taken by the powers that be has bent or blatantly bypassed the Constitution."

"We hear that the Constitution Review Committee intends to go ahead and resume their work of reviewing the constitution even after a High Court injunction has been placed to stop them."

"We hear the CRC chairman saying that he will only listen to Ratu Iloilo and not to a court order. What kind of talk is that?"

"There's potential dissension in the Fijian Political Parties Forum. The Caretaker Government comprises people from the different parties in the Forum."

"However, some Forum members are querying the size of the caretaker Cabinet. They say it's too big. There's dissatisfaction among some parties in the Forum who want more of their people in the caretaker government."

"Even in the SVT, there is dissatisfaction in the leadership. One group wants Ratu Inoke Kubuabola out another wants him to stay. In the Fijian Association Party the split was there from before the 1999 elections when a group wanted to take over form Adi Kuini Vuikaba Speed. That same group joined George Speight in Parliament and one of that group is a minister in the caretaker government."

"Now we hear people disregarding the rule of law in schools."

"We hear of parents and guardians taking the law in their own hands and assaulting teachers whom they think are being unjust to their children."

"It seems that the rule of the jungle is really taking a hold. But we were warned that if we disregard the Constitution we could be heading for trouble."


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